All our pride is but a jest

In the Percival Vivian edition of Thomas Campion this appears as the final entry in the first Book of Airs with no question of attribution, but Walter Davis’ 1967 edition places that whole collection under the category of ‘Doubtful Poems.’

Whether men doe laugh or weepe,
Whether they doe wake or sleepe,
Whether they die yoong or olde,
Whether they feele heate or colde,
There is, underneath the sunne,
Nothing in true earnest done.

All our pride is but a jest;
None are worst, and none are best;
Griefe, and joy, and hope, and feare
Play their Pageants every where:
Vaine opinion all doth sway,
And the world is but a play.

Powers above in cloudes doe sit,
Mocking our poore apish wit
That so lamely, with such state,
Their high glorie imitate:

No ill can be felt but paine,
And that happie men disdaine.

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